Molecular Biology of Sarcomas
Precision medicine is the new paradigm of modern cancer treatment and gives hope to an increasing number of cancer patients. Unfortunately, patients with sarcoma seem to lag behind this development.
Sarcomas are rare. As a consequence, they are more difficult to study and they have little commercial interest. Although the incidence of sarcoma in adults is low (approx. 1% of all cancers), it is much more frequent in children and adolescents (approx. 10%), resulting in significant loss of life-years.
While childhood cancer has a high probability for positive treatment outcome, many patients with metastatic disease succumb to their disease. Furthermore, the high positive treatment rates in childhood cancer may be misleading as many paediatric cancer patients suffer from severe side effects later in life. It is therefore clear that new strategies are required to improve the outcome of sarcomas.
Repurposing of drugs developed for targets in other cancers has been suggested as a possibility to bring precision oncology to sarcoma patients. Indeed, sequencing of sarcoma tumours has revealed potential therapeutic targets that overlap with more common cancers.